ADVERTORIAL | Austal maintains lead in digital transformation with SSI partnership

Photo: SSI

Australian shipbuilder Austal is currently implementing an agile approach in its vessel construction projects, streamlining the sharing of digital engineering information across a greater number of stakeholders, with the aid of an innovative information management system developed by global shipbuilding software developer SSI.

Austal, Australia’s premier defence and fast ferry shipbuilder serving the global market, is undergoing a real digital transformation thanks to a renewed focus on innovation, application of digital-first processes, and implementation of SSI’s shipbuilding information management platform.

In partnership with SSI, Austal is currently implementing ShipbuildingPLM to control and release configuration managed 3D product models and production deliverables for the numerous vessels in its shipbuilding programs. This includes close coordination with design and engineering and seamless integration with production and the supply chain through the company’s chosen ERP platform.

“Austal is committed to becoming the premier naval shipbuilder in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Andrew Malcolm, Austal’s Chief Digital Officer. “We measure this not only in terms of capacity of our shipyards located around the region, but in terms of quality, performance, and reliability. Our work with SSI is about building the capability to be more effective, agile, and innovative.”

The Australian shipbuilder is one of very few shipbuilders taking an agile, holistic approach to their digital transformation. The key is a focus on solving shipbuilding-specific business challenges, identifying long-term objectives first, and implementing technologies incrementally to support those goals. As part of that process, the need to quickly achieve a return on investment, work within the realities of shipbuilding, and maintain a high level of security were all identified as key requirements.

“Austal is a true leader in digital shipbuilding,” said Darren Larkins, co-CEO at SSI. “They are well on their way to becoming a truly digital shipbuilder from design and engineering through to production. We’re excited to continue our close work with them on this journey.”

As part of an agile approach, the project’s initial focus will give Austal more control over engineering information as it flows through to production and as changes are made. The open approach to integration taken by the selected platforms ensures that stakeholders from across multiple shipyards and design team offices have streamlined access to the models, drawings, and bill of material information they require.

Austal has been an SSI client since 2004. These latest developments represent the next step in the partnership between the two organisations.

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